About Wallicher Falls (or Wallacha Falls) and Tchupala Falls
Wallicher Falls (also spelled Wallacha Falls) and Tchupala Falls were a waterfall pairing in Wooroonooran National Park sharing the same trailhead off the Palmerston Highway.
I probably could have described each of these waterfalls in their own page, but I figured that it would make more sense to include them together since I’ve experienced them both on the same hike each time I’ve done it.
Our hiking path resembled that of a Y-shaped route, where each of the two waterfalls sat as the endpoints of the prongs of the Y.
Similar to Nandroya Falls, Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls seemed to be obscure waterfalls within the waterfall-laced Atherton Tablelands.
I guess it was only because we made it a point to chase waterfalls in an area already saturated with named waterfalls that allowed us to slow down and look for places like these.
And we were richly rewarded for it!
Hiking to Both Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls
The hike began from an unsigned pullout (or at least you really had to look for the trailhead signage) on the Palmerston Highway (see directions below).
From that pullout, I then had to briefly walk back along the Palmerston Highway towards the trailhead sign letting me know that I indeed was at the right spot.
Then, after about 200m of walking in the monsoonal rainforest, I reached a signed trail junction where the tracks to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls each branched off in different directions.
Had we chosen to do the Tchupala Falls first, we would have to hike about 360m from this junction (or 560m one-way from the trailhead).
Conversely, had we chosen to do the Wallicher Falls first, we would have to hike about 500m from this junction (or 700m one-way from the trailhead).
The overall hiking distance for the entire Y-shaped route was about 2km, which we were able to complete in about 45-60 minutes (though it could have easily been longer, which I’ll get to shortly).
Anyways, each time I’ve done this hike, I took the right branch to Tchupala Falls first because it had the shorter out-and-back walk.
So following its straightforward track along Henrietta Creek, the track continued through the monsoonal rainforest scenery while providing the soundtrack of the flowing creek drowning out the sounds of the Palmerston Highway.
Eventually, the track approached an open part of the rainforest as the trail descended towards a path that apparently once descended right to Henrietta Creek across from the segmented Tchupala Falls.
When Julie and I first came here in May 2008, Cyclone Larry caused damage to the remainder of this track making it difficult to get a clean view of the falls (let alone getting down to the creek).
When I came back in June 2022, it seemed like the track went a little further to a cleaner and more open look at the Tchupala Falls (which looked to be about 10-15m).
That said, a barricade still discouraged further progress to the creek, but I saw a pair of young women who managed to hop the barricade and make it down to the creek for an unsanctioned swim.
On their way out, they did warn me about leeches but I had no intention of getting past the barricade.
After having my fill of this falls, I then backtracked to the Y-junction, and then I proceeded further upstream along Henrietta Creek towards Wallacha Falls.
Because this section of the track kind of paralleled the Palmerston Highway, I did hear some sporadic sounds of vehicles whizzing by over the background sounds of the flowing creek itself.
By the way, I’ve interchanged the spelling of Wallicher Falls and Wallacha Falls because the signage along this part of the trail actually spelled it the other way.
Anyways, I’d eventually reach a lookout peering through an opening in the rainforest towards the somewhat wider and pleasing Wallacha Falls.
The photo shown at the top of this page was the Wallicher Falls, which dropped about 10m though it had a greater width than its height.
I didn’t know this at the time, but according to my Gaia GPS map, the track actually crossed the creek above the falls and then apparently descended to its base around the other side.
I can’t say whether that path is still there since I haven’t actually done it, but I’m keen to check it out the next time I’m here.
By the way, the track would continue along Henrietta Creek eventually reaching the Henrietta Creek Campground (so it’s possible to combine this hike with Nandroya Falls in a much longer day hike).
After having my fill of the lookout of Wallacha Falls, I then returned the way I came to complete the roughly 2km return out-and-back hike.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls reside in the Wooroonooran National Park near Innisfail, Queensland. It is administered by the State of Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
The easy-to-miss signposted trailhead was about 3km east of Nandroya Falls (between a small pullout area on the north side of the highway where we parked the car and the Misty Mountains turnoff further west).
Overall, it was about 30km west of Innisfail (at the start of the Palmerston Hwy [Hwy 25]) or 25km east of Millaa Millaa along the Palmerston Hwy.
It was just east of the Misty Mountains turnoff.
For geographical context, Innisfail was 59km (less than an hour drive) west of Millaa Millaa, 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns, 148km (over 90 minutes drive) north of Ingham, and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.
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